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What a Land Value Tax mean for London?

Tom Copley, Labour London Assembly Member, is conducting a ‘Rapporteur Review’ of the potential for a Land Value Tax (LVT) system for London.

The overall aim of the proposed LVT is to encourage land to be brought forward for housing development and reduce the amount of vacant land and underused sites.

London First understands that the LVT would be a tax that would be levied annually on the owner (as opposed to the occupier) of a piece of land. The charge would be set based on its current use value or where it is considered underutilised its ‘optimum’ land use value.

It is unclear whether the existing taxation regimes, e.g. council tax and business rates, would be scrapped.

The Assembly has made clear that the potential role for the LVT is to encourage ‘more housing land to come forward for development’. However, London First is unconvinced that a potential LVT will achieve this aim and are strongly of the view that it may have potentially negative consequences for London.

London First also believes that from a practical perspective, bringing forward an LVT for London will be an extremely complex and costly process, which would take many years to implement.

Key questions we have asked are:

1.What are the practical considerations for bringing forward an LVT for London?
2.Will an LVT achieve the intended aim of encouraging more land to come forward for development?
3.What are the potential consequences of an LVT for London?
4.What are the alternatives?

Click here for details of the Assembly’s Review scope. London First’s full response, prepared in consultation with our members, is here.

Contact: Sara Parkinson, sparkinson@londonfirst.co.uk

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